After a 30-year British Council career which took him to Baghdad, Rome, Brussels, Ottawa and Rabat, Martin is an experienced cultural relations professional and theorist. Retired in 2018, he is a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies, and Director of the 2018 Hammamet Conference on the Impact of Technical Innovation on Society. He writes widely (in 2016 he published There and Back by Candle-Light, an account of his experiences in Baghdad before and during the Gulf War of 1990, and in 2018 A Morocco Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries); and he consults and writes on issues in education in the Middle East, cultural relations, cultural preservation, radicalisation and other related subjects. With an academic background in the Middle East (M Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford), Martin is an experienced and creative thinker and contributor across a wide spectrum of activity. He blogs as Mercurius Maghrebensis.
Earlier in the summer, I celebrated the relative idleness of retirement with an alphabet, sent out most days on Twitter. It consisted of favourite words culled from my commonplace book, and I reproduce it here, lightly edited, in case it pleases any of my prudently Twitter-free readers. A is for Aftermath, a word much abused … More A is for Alphabet